Lawn out. Wildflowers in.

When you peel off a layer of turf grass, the soil beneath is often compacted, depleted of nutrients and life, and polluted with salts and other chemicals. These chemicals may have accumulated from ongoing applications of fertilizers and pesticides. Or possibly, poor irrigation practices – short, frequent watering periods – that leave behind salts found […]

After the flowers

Wildflower season is “past peak” and I’d like to remind you that the glorious, youthful, bright flowers now enter the very important stage of making and dispersing seed. Though my camera is still drawn to brightly colored flowers, I try to point it at the broken stems, brown seed pods, and graying leaves that are […]

Lawn-less sustainable garden

I got rid of the last bit of lawn in Wild Suburbia. We are lawn-less, lawn-free, turf-be-gone, but definitely not grassless! Deergrass, California fescue, melic grass, purple needlegrass, and even the non-grasses, blue-eyed grass (in the Lily Family), and rush (sometimes called rush-grass, in the Rush Family) have a place in my garden and in […]

What should I plant?

This is the perfect time to prepare your plant for upcoming native plant sales and fall planting! This slideshow presents garden-worthy plants from woodland, scrubland, chaparral and desert plant communities. Barbara is a South Pasadena-based native plant gardener, horticulturist, writer and blogger. Her recent book, Wild Suburbia: Learning to Garden with Native Plants, guides new […]

Front yard vegetable garden

Our front yard makeover began on the night of November 30-December 1 of 2011. The avocado tree in the front yard was “deconstructed” by winds that roared through our area in the wee hours of the night (Cleaning up after the storm). Rather than giving up on this old avocado, we called in an arborist who removed broken limbs […]